Shabbat Parashat Shmini | 5768
Shemini | 22 Adar II 5768 | 3/29/2008
As the consecration of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) progressed, Aharon was instructed to bring certain korbanot (sacrifices) on behalf of himself and the nation. Chazal tell us that he was hesitant when he saw the calf to be brought, as it reminded him of the sin of the Golden Calf, in which he played a failed role. Moshe said to him: "Why are you embarrassed? For this you were chosen." This week, when we also read of the removal of impurity by the red heifer, mother to the calf, let us investigate the retrospective outlook on that sin and Aharon's transcendence of the obstacles it placed before him.
I am studying to convert to Judaism with an Orthodox rabbi. I know that tattoos are viewed negatively by my rabbi and others. People are unaware that I have some (not obscene ones). I am concerned that when I will put tefillin on, people will find out. I have heard that people with tattoos are not be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Should I just not convert? Will rabbis accept me?
The heart and mind are scouts of sechel (the intellect). Sechel processes that which is given to it; without chomer (physicality), sechel would be empty, as it processes physicality according to its rules, thus creating experience. Science is to give correct experience. Sechel doesn't create chomer but understands that which it is given by creating concepts, "intellectual clothing" of chomer. Just as the ear cannot hear a flower's smell, sechel cannot grasp pure chomer but intellectual chomer.
As part of a divorce settlement, a father (=pl) opened a tochnit chisachon (set-time investment) for his daughters; the mother (=def) was to oversee it. Later on, def removed the money for personal needs. Pl demands that def reimburse the girls the sum due to them at the time the investment is due.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.
May their memory be a blessing.
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).